31 October 2011

REVIEW: TWO MOON PRINCESS

Two Moon Princess
Author: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Series: No, standalone
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Release date: June 2010
Genre: historical fiction and contemporary
Read via NetGalley

Princess Andrea has never felt like she fitted in, and as her hopes of becoming a Knight are dashed she feels even more isolated in her medieval world. When she finds a doorway to another world, our modern California, she finally feels at home. But her new life might not be possible when she accidentally returns to her own world with someone else in tow, causing family truths to come to the surface and war to breakout. 

Review: At first I wasn’t sure how well the story would work, trying to cross from fantasy/historical fiction into contemporary, particularly as Andrea’s narrative and descriptions was very true to her upbringing in a historical setting. But I was pleasantly surprised and thought that Ferreiro-Esteban did a great job of seamlessly combining the two. When Andrea enters our world as we know it, her surprise and reaction to modern contraptions was natural but not overdone, and I enjoyed her reaction to the car engine starting up! The further I got into the book, I more and more I enjoyed it. By the time Andrea had saved the enemy king and was looking after him, I couldn’t put the book down. Their love-hate relationship was so charged and intense even though they never got together physically, but it was believable at the same time.

Two Moon Princess was full of action, love, revenge and rejection. It featured fighting and combat scenes which I enjoyed without being too heavy and bogging the plot down in detail. Some areas of the plot were easy to guess, but at other times I was left trying to keep up with the fast pace and Andrea’s understanding of the opposing motives and behaviours of other characters.

Despite having so many characters, I thought the character development was done really well. Each had their own distinct personality and motives and made me feel either admiration, annoyance or hatred. Andrea was a great protagonist – feeling inferior to her sisters as well as the Knights she wants to be, she berates herself for her lack of strength and courage when rescuing Don Julian, but I can’t imagine any of her sisters being able to do the things she did. She was strong and courageous, but at the same time unsure and vulnerable. Despite their various flaws, all of her sisters (and all of the women in the story) make their own choices and don't bow down to convention or the will of the men in their lives - for example, Princess Sabela gives up the crown for love, which in my book takes guts.

And then there was the enemy king, Don Julian. Cruel, gruff and fierce, he ruled his kingdom with power and respect and attacked his enemies without mercy. As his role as king was peeled back and I saw the hardships he had been through I really started to like him. The fact that he wasn’t your archetypical stunningly handsome hero or male protagonist, but was more complex and mysterious, made him so much more interesting.

Seamlessly blending historical and contemporary fiction, Two Moon Princess creates a superb and fast paced tale of a young girl trying to find her place in one world, only that discover that she might be destined for another.

Rating: 4*

1 comment:

K R Weinert said...

Great review! I had similar thoughts :-)